HomeHerbal FormulasNative American FormulasHerbal Formulas Used for Beverages Thursday, September 18, 2014  
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Herbal Formulas Used for Beverages

The Chippewa Native Americans usually did not drink water encountered in traveling, but boiled it, using some of the following herbs as a beverage. If fresh leaves were used, they were tied in a packet using a strip of basswood bark before placing in the water. Dried leaves carried with them could be used if fresh leaves were not available. Twigs were tied into a bundle by a strip of bark long enough to permit the lifting of the bundle and dropping into hot water without burning the hand.

The quantity used was usually a handful of leaves, or small bundle of twigs, to a quart of water, often sweetened with maple sugar and taken hot. The herbs usually used for a beverage were:

  • Labrador tea leaves (Ledum groenlandicum oeder)
  • Creeping snowberry leaves (Chiogenes hispidula L.)
  • Wintergreen leaves (Gaultheria procumbens L.)
  • Hemlock leaves (Tsuga canadensis L.)
  • Spruce leaves (Picea rubra)
  • Red raspberry twigs (Rubus strigosus)
  • Chokecherry twigs (Prunus virginiana L.)
  • Wild cherry twigs (Prunus serotina)
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